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Canon XH Series HDV Camcorders
Canon XH G1S / G1 (with SDI), Canon XH A1S / A1 (without SDI).


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Old April 5th, 2007, 02:09 PM   #1
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Lots of Help/Reccomendations here Please Give me your thoughts

Okay, it has been almost a 2 weeks since I have come up with questions, been reading the forums, got answers, got more questions. Been awaiting my activation to post them. So now i hope this is not to long.

I will put a list of questions that I have (hopefully remembering them all) then I will put a short paragraph about me, and my use, this way here you will have an idea of what I want, BEFORE reading who I am, then you can answer that way instead of just skimming through WHO I AM then answering what I want.

1. Am i ever going to notice (enough) of a difference between the HV20 and the XH-A1? (My idea is this. The HV20 is a Point-n-shoot 8mp camera, while the XH-A1 is the 8mp DSLR (without lens interchangeability obviously) while, the PnS camera has the POTENTIAL in SOME shots to rival the quality of the A1, the A1 has the manual control/settings that can give you great quality "everytime" or more often.

2. Is there a difference from going directly to tape or having it hooked up to a laptop/desktop with Terabytes of storage? (other than the fact that you can record LONGER on the HD than on the TAPE?) (I hear tape is a cheaper medium to keep backups on) (I am just trying to save the "heads" of the camera by plugging it in)

3. I can get the Bogen 501 Model 351mvb2 for 352.54, is this okay and worth it for the XH-A1 (if i decide to go that way)?

4. Tapes. I can get panasonic HD tapes for about 4 bucks each, should i go this way or should i go the MQ/AMQ way? Will i see a difference?

5. I have some lenses for a Rebel XT, is there an adaptor for the XH-A1 that i can get to use those lenses? Or do i not want to do that?

6. What are some "better" programs to use for editing/exporting/rendering? (MAC and PC)


Okay I think that is all the questions. Now on to me.

I am not a professional photographer or a videographer. I can get the HV20 for 830.84+tax, so that makes that camera a CHEAP choice as apposed to the ~3400 for the A1. As I said i have the rebel xt, and I just do mainly normal pictures with it, not a buisness standpoint. I have taken no classes, just mess with the camera and try and do my best. I like having the control over the camera so when i do learn something new I can actually use it.

For the video, I plan on just using it randomly, no specifics in need. But i want the "HD" quality from it, so if i do decide to do a "short" or a documentary, or a simple indie or what not, I have the capacity to do so. Will this be achieved by the hv20? I can use either a PC or a MAC laptop, and up for suggestions on which programs to use.

I hope I covered everything, if you need any more answers/questions for me, please ask. I would like to have opinions of pros/users of these cameras and in the field.

the HV20 at the price comes from my employer, (accomodations) so its from a 100% reputable company (pretty much direct from canon).
EDIT//
What if I want to eventually do weddings (which is my plan) will i be able to with the HV20 or better off with the xh-a1?

Thanks.

Last edited by Eric Sipe; April 5th, 2007 at 03:15 PM. Reason: adding new information
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Old April 5th, 2007, 02:27 PM   #2
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Get the HV20 it will be fine and a good place to start video. The price you quoted seems scandalously cheap make sure it's from a reputable source. There are lots of sCam stores that sell you the camera for a low price but leave the accessories out of the box and charge you extra for them later. Do a web search on who you're buying it from.

Panasonic tapes are fine.

Get a Mac and use iMovie to capture and edit and iDVD burn DVDs the software comes with the Mac and works great.

Your EOS lenses won't fit on the HV20 unless you buy an DOF adapter and even then you'd want to use something other than Canon EOS lenses because there is no external aperture control on EOS lenses. Don't do this at this point in your video exploits.

Get a Libec LS-22 instead of the Bogen it has smoother movement and is about the same price.
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Old April 5th, 2007, 02:58 PM   #3
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I agree with the above post. It sounds like the HV20 will be good enough for what you want to do. It's a point-and-shoot camera but has some manual controls. The XH A1 is a bit pricey for the type of usage you mention. A single chip camera may give you high resolution, but it's not going to give you the overall quality in terms of latitude (handling contrast), control, etc.

For amateur use, all the single chip HDV cameras are fine. You did a comparison between a point-and-shoot digital still camera and a digital SLR, and that's a pretty good analogy. You can get the same resolution with the little pocket camera as you can with a Canon 30D, but you can get better pictures under more different conditions with the 30D...however, if you're taking photos of your kids opening Christmas presents, the snapshot camera may be better.

You can't use EOS lenses on a fixed lens camera like the XH A1. You can use them on the XL1 and XL2, but there's a big focal length multiplication factor--in other words, a 50mm lens from a 35mm camera is going to act like about a 350mm lens on the video camera. There are wide angle and telephoto adapters available for the fixed lens cameras, but the wide angle 20:1 zoom of the XH A1 makes them not necessary except for rare situations.
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Old April 5th, 2007, 02:59 PM   #4
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I just got the HV20. I have a Sony FX1, which is similar to A1 without the special frame rates. See my commentary here:

http://www.dvinfo.net/conf/showthread.php?t=90504

HV20 reduces your ability to control things, but you can still have a lot of control. Its viewfinder leave a lot to be desired.

You Rebel (if they are standard Canon compatible) can be used in 35mm adapter for film like results. As far as the HV20, my jury is still out on how well that can be employed with it.....
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Old April 5th, 2007, 03:15 PM   #5
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the HV20 at the price comes from my employer, (accomodations) so its from a 100% reputable company (pretty much direct from canon).

What if I want to eventually do weddings (which is my plan) will i be able to with the HV20 or better off with the xh-a1?

Also any reccomendations on books/videos to start with to help improve my skills and things i can start with?
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Old April 5th, 2007, 03:36 PM   #6
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if you can afford an xh-a1, get that. it's clearly the better cam.
always buy the best gear that you can afford.

i wouldn't solicit paying gigs with an HV20. it seems like a nice back-up
and deck, but it's just a consumer cam. clients will question it.

Libec tripods... awesome.

Once you choose a tape brand, you should stick with it regardless of price.
i prefer sony.

For working with HD... Vegas on a PC and FCP on a Mac.
I prefer PC and I build my own as per my required specs.

i also shoot stills with a 20D. this adapter will accomdate the EOS lenses.
http://shopping.netsuite.com/s.nl/c....c=2&category=9
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Old April 5th, 2007, 04:05 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Eric Weiss View Post
if you can afford an xh-a1, get that. it's clearly the better cam.
always buy the best gear that you can afford.

i wouldn't solicit paying gigs with an HV20. it seems like a nice back-up
and deck, but it's just a consumer cam. clients will question it.

Libec tripods... awesome.

Once you choose a tape brand, you should stick with it regardless of price.
i prefer sony.

For working with HD... Vegas on a PC and FCP on a Mac.
I prefer PC and I build my own as per my required specs.

i also shoot stills with a 20D. this adapter will accomdate the EOS lenses.
http://shopping.netsuite.com/s.nl/c....c=2&category=9
so then it comes down to affordablity of the cameras? quality is not an issue? but merely just the "outcome" i can get from the a1 as apposed to the hv20 where i may be limited later on?



Also side note. I am probably going to be doing nature/outdoor shots light and day mostly. Will the a1 out perform the HV20 in this aspect? or is the difference not even going to come close to noticeable but merely nit picky?

Last edited by Eric Sipe; April 5th, 2007 at 04:10 PM. Reason: adding
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Old April 5th, 2007, 06:50 PM   #8
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if you can afford an f-900, i'd suggest that. you'll be most impressive wedding guy/ outdoorsman on the block.

if not, the xh-a1 is the closest thing you will get to that HD quality right now.

if you have any desire to go professional, don't bother with the HV20.
this is not a suitable camera for a captain of industry.

if you're only going to shoot landscapes and birds for the next few years, the Hv20 would be the ideal choice. those subjects rarely complain that "the camera is too small to be any good."

"quality" "outcome" and "out perform" are very subjective. it's not the camera, it's the talent behind it.

any camera in outdoor sunlight would give even ray charles great results.
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Old April 5th, 2007, 07:12 PM   #9
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You say you are not a pro photographer or videographer and I'm not sure of your level of experience. If you are learning video I would suggest the HV20. Skill is more important than the tool. Learn to shoot, edit, and tell a story with your video. Once you have done that and feel good about your work get the A1. Use the HV20 as backup and as a deck for editing to keep hours of the heads of the expensive camera.

Best of luck and happy shooting
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Old April 5th, 2007, 07:38 PM   #10
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more and more people are suggesting the hv20 to me, but it seems to me personally that i have a stubborned bias about the a1, that i need it.

similarly why i opted for the DSLR for 1000 instead of the PnS @ 400.

I agree with everyone, its the skills behind it that matter. I just dont want to pay 850-900 for this HV20 take it outdoors, and then i get an A1 and take it to the same place and get blown away by the quality of the A1. Is the 3ccd that much of a difference?

As i said I am not a professional, I have a lot to learn. Will i be completely hindered by the HV20's capabilities when learning this new stuff? I am just scared of making a purchase and then being dissapointed with it 3-4 months from now.
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Old April 5th, 2007, 07:52 PM   #11
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if you have any intention of going pro at all or desire the full control of your images, invest in the a1.

you will learn more about shooting and how to control a cam just by using it.
the hv20, being a consumer cam, is what will hinder you from developing a confident sense of being able to control and create the images that you want
to see.

you may also be more inclined to take it seriously if you invest a decent amount of money. further, if you decide this isnt for you, the resale of the a1 will be far greater than the handicam.

you could always buy both and test them out yourself. just purchase from someone with a decent return policy. i buy and return items on a regular basis.
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Old April 5th, 2007, 07:53 PM   #12
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If you are shooting in good light You will not be blown away by the A1.

Yes it has much more manual capability and for that reason can also be much more intimidating for the novice. You stand a better chance of being dissapointed with the A1 (because of this) than with the HV20. If you have the money to spend get the A1 and be prepared for some late night reading. Getting the most from it will take considerable time and effort.
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Old April 5th, 2007, 08:11 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim Miller View Post
If you are shooting in good light You will not be blown away by the A1.

Yes it has much more manual capability and for that reason can also be much more intimidating for the novice. You stand a better chance of being dissapointed with the A1 (because of this) than with the HV20. If you have the money to spend get the A1 and be prepared for some late night reading. Getting the most from it will take considerable time and effort.
Jim, you say that in "good" light, so if i shoot during the day nature, I will be dissapointed or "not blown away" by the a1 in comparision to the hv20 or in general? Are you saying that it works better in "lower light" situtations?

I have seen some clips from the A1 at night, and they look remarkably great.

So you are saying that with the "lack" of knowledge, the A1 will disperform for my lack of understanding. However the HV20 will auto correct this. Then when (and if) i learn, the HV20 will lack and the A1 will out perform?
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Old April 5th, 2007, 08:24 PM   #14
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Eric, you clearly want the A1. Buy it.

If you are looking for someone to rise up and say "The HV20 is better than the A1!!!"..it aint going to happen.

Bottom line, both cameras out in the day on "auto" shooting the same thing will probably produce the same image. Neither will blow you away. The A1 on the other hand gives you the opportunity, with knowledge and patience, to blow others away.

If you don't like the A1, just return it.
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Old April 5th, 2007, 08:39 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Eric Weiss View Post

Bottom line, both cameras out in the day on "auto" shooting the same thing will probably produce the same image. Neither will blow you away. The A1 on the other hand gives you the opportunity, with knowledge and patience, to blow others away..
That was the most information i got in the shortest amount of writing. That was what i wanted to know.

I was wanting a confirmation of my assumption of the camera.

Thank you Eric.
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